Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
(I Maccabees 1:10-15.41-43.54-57.62-63; Luke 18:35-43)
The language of faith is often undercut by popular thinking. When a person says that she “believes” something, most people hear a modicum of doubt in her voice. They understand her to mean that she does not know for sure but only thinks that what she says is true. This kind of qualified assertion is hardly what the Church understands by faith. Faith is a way of knowing with more certainty, not less, that what is said is true. The reason for such conviction is that the tenets of faith have been revealed by the Lord.
In the gospel the unnamed blind man, called Bartimaeus in Mark’s version, demonstrates real faith. Not wavering a bit, he acts on his belief that Jesus is the Messiah by making a scene. Because such faith is always rewarded, the man receives the sight which he requests. The gospel adds that he wastes no time to follow Jesus. True faith in Jesus can do no less.
In a way it is understandable why many people possess faith that is tainted by doubt. Some Catholics put at the heart of faith things of lesser importance. A woman, for example, worried that there is one way and no other to pray the rosary. But the rosary is not part of the liturgy and may be prayed in any dignified way as the Divine Chaplet movement has demonstrated. Truths at the heart of faith –the Trinity, the Incarnation, the resurrection from the dead, etc. -- are non-negotiable. We should accept these truths with all our mind and, more importantly, live then with all our heart.